through Charles McDonald, sarah Hardy, Christian D'Andrea, Adam Stites, and also James Brady january 29, 2019, 1:00pm EST


no everyone gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Even some of the finest players in NFL background were never ever able to victory a Super bowl — football player who had actually bonafide room of fame careers.

Greatness no guarantee a Super bowl ring, or in some cases even a chance at a ring. Terrell Owens, Tony Gonzalez, LaDainian Tomlinson, Cris Carter, Eric Dickerson, Tony Gonzalez — the number of titans who have come up empty-handed go on and also on.

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It’s practically impossible to list every truly good player that didn’t victory the large game. Instead, we picked the end eight players we still can’t believe don’t have a Super key championship on their resume.

Randy Moss

Depending on who you speak to, Randy Moss just might be the finest receiver of all time. He’s certainly one that the finest receivers to ever step ~ above a football field — he to be a first-ballot room of Fame an option last year.

Despite a career that includes 982 receptions, 15,292 receiving yards, and 156 touchdowns, Moss was unable to clinch a Lombardi trophy. That contains his legendary 2007 stint because that the brand-new England Patriots. Moss recorded an NFL-record 23 touchdowns because that a Patriots the took a perfect 18-0 record into the at sight Bowl. They finished up shedding to the brand-new York Giants 17-14.

It’s nearly criminal that one of the ideal receivers in NFL background never got a Super key while playing for one of the best teams in the background of the NFL.

Moss obtained one more chance in ~ a ring in his last season in the league. After a short retirement, Moss came earlier to play for the 49ers in 2012. They go on come Super bowl XLVII, whereby they shed to the Ravens — an additional close three-point loss because that Moss’ team.

Barry Sanders

Arguing that Barry Sanders is the best running earlier of all time is a lot choose making the instance that Randy Moss to be the finest receiver. Neither play long sufficient to chase down major career records, yet both were as freakishly unstoppable together the NFL has ever before seen.

Sanders won the Heisman Trophy in 1988 v the most absurdly dominant season that football anyone has ever had. Then he made NFL defenses look at silly for 10 years, earning a agree Bowl nod in every 10 seasons.

He averaged 99.8 rushing yards every game, 5.0 yards per carry, and also is among only three players to ever eclipse 15,000 yards. What that never acquired was a expedition to the Super bowl — something no Lions team has ever done.

Sanders to be a member of the just Lions team to play in the NFC Championship in the Super bowl era. Detroit shed that game, 41-10, come Washington in January 1992.

His career finished abruptly through an unexpected retirement a pair weeks ~ his 31st birthday. Sanders did much more than sufficient to it is in an easy very first ballot room of reputation entry, yet unfortunately, we never obtained to check out him win it all.

Larry Fitzgerald

In January, Larry Fitzgerald announced he’ll return because that a 15th NFL season with the Arizona Cardinals. One more year need to be an ext than sufficient to provide him the second spot on the job receptions list (he’s only 22 behind Tony Gonzalez), however it almost definitely won’t gain him his very first Super key ring. Not unless Kliff Kingsbury is a wonder worker in his an initial NFL season.

Fitzgerald will certainly probably finish his job 0-1 in supervisor Bowls. It is a shame since he played few of the most leading postseason soccer of any type of receiver in NFL history.

He finished Super bowl 43 with seven receptions because that 127 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers. The was after he had 152 receiving yards and also three touchdowns in the NFC Championship, and also 166 yards and a touchdown in the Divisional Round. In 4 games the postseason, he had 30 captures for 546 yards and also seven touchdowns.

His clutch 64-yard touchdown in the at sight Bowl placed the Cardinals on optimal late in the 4th quarter:

And that would’ve given them the win if Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t answered with a touchdown happen to Santonio Holmes.

Fitzgerald will complete his career second all-time in receiving yards, likely second in receptions, and likely sixth in receiving touchdowns. But maybe the most wild stat the his career is the he’s among eight players with 10 or much more receiving touchdowns in the playoffs. He gained there in nine games.

That should’ve obtained Fitzgerald the Super key ring that deserves. Unfortunately, the Cardinals couldn’t piece things together with enough consistency to give him the chance.

Junior Seau

Seau was the quintessential polytheistic linebacker; a West shore wrecking sphere who had actually the intelligence, size, and also athleticism to cover any kind of situation in one opponent’s playbook. Unfortunately for him, he to be star-crossed by gift drafted through the league’s most cursed franchise (non-Browns edition), the Chargers. In san Diego, his quarterbacks were some wretched mix of players choose Billy Joe Tolliver, john Friesz, Stan Humphries, Craig Whelihan, Jim Harbaugh, and Ryan Leaf. The truth the franchise even made it come Super key 29 is a testimony to Seau’s playmaking.

When his Chargers tenure involved an end, he went to the Dolphins together a 34-year-old linebacker, to let go 18 gamings in 3 seasons, and generally looked washed up. And then, whoops, turns out that’s simply a byproduct of playing in Miami, became a an useful veteran presence, and looked like he’d finally win a ring in the most Rodney Harrison-ish of ways — by escaping mountain Diego and also playing for invoice Belichick.

Seau spent four seasons in new England, somehow ideal at the start of the franchise’s longest championship drought of the millennium. He saw the Pats walk 18-0 in 2007 just to acquire upended through the Giants in the year’s at sight Bowl. He retired after the 2009 season, win zero an ext playoff gamings along the way.

His life ~ football play out choose a roman inn tragedy, ending with a battle against CTE and also his untimely death in 2012, years before his household would enshrine him as a first-ballot hall of Famer. With or there is no a ring hell be remembered as among the greatest players to ever before take the field, but if you’re in search of worthy candidates for “best player to never ever win a at sight Bowl,” Seau’s 20-year career, 1,846 tackles, and also 10 All-Pro awards definitely puts the in the running.

Frank Gore

It’s not rare because that an upstream player to invest the bulk of his career with a negative team. There’s nothing unique about Frank Gore’s situation — but couple of players who have actually played at the level he has actually for as lengthy as he has actually did it with his level of dedication, job-related ethic, and satisfaction. Gore rarely complained once the 49ers were a terrible team, and he didn’t complain once he join the on-the-cusp Colts, who then collapsed, or the Dolphins, who weren’t particularly an excellent when he joined them.

Gore is nicknamed “The Inconvenient Truth” because that a reason: 5 Pro Bowls, ripe 1,000-yard rushing seasons (with one more three that at least 850 yards), and fourth all-time in career rushing yards. The male runs hard, in every single situation, and also just once you think he might be slow down, hell burn you for a large gain. Transparent his career, opposing football player have frequently referred come Gore as among the most complicated players come tackle.

It never seemed feasible that Gore would certainly reach a harsh decrease and then retire. He’d just chug along, shouldering defenders into the turf until he decided to cave up the cleats. After ~ he continued to create at 35 year old in Miami this past season, that’s still the case.

Dan Marino

Doesn’t the seem choose Dan Marino has actually a Super bowl ring? let’s say the weekly trivia night and also you have to name as countless Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks together you can in one minute so that your team, Tony Romo knows the Question before It’s Asked, have the right to beat those nerds in ~ the following table with a name favor Trivial search of Happiness. You’re listing Tom Brady, the Manning brothers, trojan Aikman, Joe Montana ... Perhaps Dan Marino slips in there. Due to the fact that it sound right.

But nope, Marino went to the super Bowl simply once in the 1984 season. The Dolphins obtained smoked 38-16 by Montana’s 49ers.

Marino had a prolific career, spending all 17 periods with the Dolphins and getting inducted into the hall of fame on the very first ballot. That threw because that 61,361 yards in his job (fifth-most in NFL history), 420 touchdowns (also fifth-most), and 8,358 pass attempts (yep, fifth-most), completing 4,967 of castle (hey, fifth-most again). He winner 147 continuous season games, which ranks ... Fif—wait, sixth all-time. Everyone ahead of him in those rankings is either a fellow Hall of Famer or will certainly be as soon as he’s eligible.

He also helped make the dolphins popular, i m sorry seems almost impossible nowadays.

Pretty much EVERY room of Famer ~ above the Bills teams that lost four straight super Bowls — but especially Bruce Smith

Jim Kelly. Thurman Thomas. James Lofton. Bruce Smith. Andre Reed. Coach Marv Levy. All pro Football room of Famers. All assisted the Bills during their four-year operation as the most Sisyphean team in super Bowl background (though Lofton was just on those very first three runner-up teams).

It was a cruel fate for every those men. It no seem appropriate that none of them can claim a championship. But let’s solitary out blacksmith in details because defenders require love also — and also he was one of the best.

Smith’s production can’t be suitable — he’s the NFL’s all-time bag leader (with 200!). His longevity is almost unparalleled, too. That played for 19 seasons and also finally retired in ~ the age of 40. He to be such a understand on the ar that happen rushers after ~ him all studied his video game — and also still do, a decade and also a fifty percent since his last NFL game.

It’s just fitting that one of Smith’s most memorable plays come in the supervisor Bowl, the Bills’ an initial — and also closest — loss. In Super key XXV, smith bulldozed v the Giants offensive line in the blink of an eye come take down quarterback Jeff Hostetler because that a safety.

picture by Gin Ellis/Getty images That put the receipt up 12-3 in the 2nd quarter.

It would have been the most defining play of the game, if no for a small something called vast Right.

Wes Welker

No, Wes Welker most likely doesn’t counting as one of the finest to ever before do it, however looking back it’s pretty amazing that that was never ever a part of a super Bowl-winning team. In spite of spending six years through Tom Brady and also two years v Peyton Manning, Welker never won a Super key ring.

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He did play in three Super Bowls, though. He to be a member the the record-setting 2007 Patriots team v Randy Moss that shed to the Giants, played for the 2011 Patriots that additionally lost come the Giants, and also the 2013 Broncos team that gained annihilated by the Seahawks in Super key XLVIII.

Eight years through arguably the height two quarterbacks of all time and also no Super bowl ring to present for it. Life ain’t fair.